Its uses, dosage and contraindications

Bismuth subsalicylate is a medicine used to help control diarrhea, upset stomach, indigestion, heartburn, and nausea.

In addition to this, the drug may be used to help treat chronic gastritis or peptic ulcers related to bacteria. Helicobacter pylori.

Bismuth is available at pharmacies as a syrup, chewable tablets or tablets under the trade names Pepto-Bismo or Itamol and should be used under the supervision of a doctor or pediatrician.

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What is this for?

Bismuth subsalicylate is used to treat the following conditions:

  • short-term diarrhea;
  • stomach ache;
  • Heartburn;
  • Nausea and indigestion.

Apart from this, since it has bactericidal and antacid properties, this drug helps in treating peptic ulcers or chronic gastritis caused by bacteria. Helicobacter pylori, Pathogenic microorganisms found in the stomach or intestines. Learn more about Helicobacter pylori infection and its treatment.

Dosage and Administration

The dosage and administration of bismuth subsalicylate vary depending on its form of presentation:

1. Syrup

The indicated dose of bismuth subsalicylate syrup is 30 ml (2 tablespoons) for adults and children over 12 years of age. The generally recommended dose of 30 mL contains 525 mg of bismuth subsalicylate.

If necessary, another dose can be injected every half hour to an hour until symptoms subside, up to a maximum of 8 doses every 24 hours.

2. Chewable tablets

Each chewable tablet contains 262 mg of bismuth subsalicylate in the specified dose:

  • Adults: Indicated dose is 2 tablets per dose;
  • children: The indicated dose for children 9 to 12 years of age is 1 tablet and for children 6 to 9 years of age is 2/3 of a tablet.

Repeat dose every 1/2 to 1 hour as symptoms require, up to 8 doses in 24 hours.

This medication can be used for up to 2 days until diarrhea stops.

Also, if diarrhea occurs, be sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Learn what your diet should be like when you have diarrhea.

3. Tablet

Each film-coated tablet contains 120 mg of bismuth subsalicylate. The indicated dose for adults is 2 film-coated tablets (240 mg) per dose, twice daily.

Tablets should be taken 30 minutes before breakfast, 30 minutes before dinner, or before bed.

This medicine should not be given to children under 12 years of age.

side effect

Bismuth subsalicylate may cause temporary, harmless darkening of the tongue and/or stool; dark stools should not be confused with melena.


This medicine is not used for bleeding ulcers, kidney failure, hemophilia, diabetes, gout, high fever, or persistent diarrhea. Likewise, its use is not recommended if you are allergic to salicylates or are receiving anticoagulants or tetracyclines.

Bismuth subsalicylate should not be given to children under 6 years of age, pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Additionally, bismuth subsalicylate should not be used to treat nausea or vomiting in children or adolescents who have had or are recovering from chickenpox or influenza. It is important to consult your pediatrician before taking this medication.

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